Africaâ€™s 40 richest people haveyet to make a mark in global philanthropy, but some of them are making notable efforts in their home countries.
While conducting intensive research for Forbesâ€™ inaugural list of Africaâ€™s 40 Richest, we also probed the philanthropic donations of the continentâ€™s wealthiest people.
While Africans in general are an extremely charitable lot, only a small fraction of its 40 richest people are noteworthy givers- like Zimbabwean telecoms tycoon Strive Masiyiwa. Masiyiwa, founder of Econet Wireless, is also the founder of the Capernaum Trust, a Zimbabwean charity that provides bursaries and scholarships to over 28,000 orphaned children.
Then there is Theophilus Danjuma. A former Nigerian defense minister, he is one of the continentâ€™s most recognizable givers. Last year he bestowed a $100 million endowment on his TY Danjuma Foundation, which provides grants to non-governmental organizations that champion free healthcare, education and poverty alleviation.
Through The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, Africaâ€™s second richest man, Nicky Oppenheimer, gives away millions of dollars annually to South African college students, providing bursaries and scholarships from undergraduate to postgraduate level. Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote is also one of the continentâ€™s biggest givers, even though he just recently embraced philanthropy. Over the last year he has given away more than $25 million to causes as varied as microfinance for small and medium businesses to a mentorship program for young African leaders and Nigerian communities struck by natural disasters.
These are the more significant givers among Africaâ€™s 40 richest:
Strive Masiyiwa, Zimbabwean
The Zimbabwean telecoms tycoon and founder of Econet Wireless is one of Africaâ€™s biggest givers. In 1996 Strive and his wife, Tsitsi Masiyiwa founded the Capernaum Trust, a Zimbabwe-registered Christian charity that supports over 28,000 orphaned Zimbabwean children. The organization provides bursary awards, scholarships, food packs and medical assistance to the children. The charity also funds the construction of libraries and other resource centers where beneficiaries can access educational materials.
Theophilus Danjuma, Nigerian
Nigeriaâ€™s former defense minister is the founder and chairman of South Atlantic Petroleum, one of the countryâ€™s leading oil exploration companies. Last year he endowed his T.Y Danjuma Foundation with $100 million- the largest in Nigerian philanthropic history. The foundation makes grants to Nigerian-based non-governmental organizations that promote causes in education, free healthcare, policy advocacy and poverty alleviation.